In the fall of 1978 I founded t he nuclear brain physics surgery school. The idea was to combine 2 highly prestitgious professions, brain surgeon & nuclear physicist, into one discipline & to make the school for that discipline be one that one could sleep through in one night.
To make the 1st lesson, I took alternating words from David Halliday & Robert Resnick's "Fundamentals of Physics" & Colin Blakemore's "Mechanics of the Mind" & created a text that was 16 pages long. I then recorded my reading of this text onto an 8-track cartridge. This cartridge was then played back autolooping to 10 people while they slept.
These 10 people became the 1st graduating class. They were then asked to each make a 9 minute recording so that all 10 recordings would add up to another 90 minute lesson. They were not to listen back to their lesson, even for the purpose of checking if it had recorded properly. The next graduating class was to listen to that 90 minute recording in their sleep. Each graduating class member received a diploma that I designed by collaging together scientific illustrations.
My original purpose was to have 10 graduating classes constituting no more than 100 people (there would be less because I graduate from every class) & to then have a nuclear brain physics surgery school reunion at which all the lessons would be played for people while awake for the 1st time.
Over the ensuing 22 years there were 5 or 6 lessons & something like 44 graduates (I graduated from every class & at least one other person graduated from 2 classes). After 2000 I allowed the project to fade away. Now, 37 years later in the fall of 2015, I've decided to finally reveal whatever secrets of nuclear brain physics surgery there are to be found.
For the moment, I only have recordings made by the last 3 graduating classes. I recall the 1st 2 lessons as being on 8-track - I can't find those. It seems to me that there was another lesson that may've been on 8-track & may've been on cassette. I can't find that. I do have the original text I typed & some other relevant printed matter.
SO, for this movie, I recreated the 1st lesson by rereading the alternating text described above & added visuals from the 1st diploma & other relevant things such as an ad making available counterfeit diplomas (no-one ever bought one).
I find the text fascinating. At age 25 I was certainly influenced by cut-ups but my intenton was NOT to replicate the typical cut-up. I preferred my more systematic analytic way. An interesting thing learned from the (not completely strict) alternating method was how common it was for articles & prepositions to occur in the same places in both of the texts. This shows how standardized writing can be.
I also introduced d liberate eccentricities to the text such as writing "the" as "t he" (a laughter onomatopoeia), writing "BING!" instead of "being", & writing "X" instead of "by". These affect the 'mood' of the writing significantly.
THIS WAS AN EXPERIMENT. I didn't want to just create writing in any standard way & then have people experience it in any standard way. I won't make any claim for dramatically increased intelligence in the graduates but I will say that they/we constitute an unusual group. People slept through the lessons in BalTimOre, USA; London, England; Dundee, Scotland; Paris, France; & Pittsburgh, USA. As such, t he nuclear brain physics surgery school has been international - or, as I often prefer, patanational.
- October 3, 2015 notes from tentatively, a convenience